Alabaster enacts temporary moratorium on 119

The Alabaster City Council on Aug. 22 approved a temporary moratorium on future developments along Alabama 119 to allow the city time to finalize an overlay district in the area. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

The Alabaster City Council on Aug. 22 approved a temporary moratorium on future developments along Alabama 119 to allow the city time to finalize an overlay district in the area. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabaster has is looking to prevent future development along one of its main corridors for the next several months, as city leaders work to finalize an overlay district determining the appearance of the corridor.

During its Aug. 22 meeting, the Alabaster City Council voted unanimously to issue a moratorium on future development from U.S. 31 to Mission Hills Road in southern Alabaster.

The moratorium will be in effect until March 31, 2017, and does not affect current businesses or developments already approved for construction. It does not affect residential development in the Siluria, Buck Creek Landing, Scottsdale, Mountain Lakes, Green Valley, Willow Glen or Meadowview subdivisions.

City officials said the goal of the moratorium is to “maintain the status quo” along the Alabama 119 corridor while the city works with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham to develop an overlay district along the corridor.

Once finalized and passed, the overlay district will dictate the appearance of any future developments along Alabama 119.

“This past year, the city adopted a comprehensive plan. One of the recommendations from RPC was creating an overlay district on 119,” said City Attorney Jeff Brumlow. “RPC and the (Alabaster) Planning Department have developed a draft of the overlay plan, but it is still in the process of being refined and polished.

“This moratorium is just to maintain the status quo in the interim while that overlay plan is finalized,” Brumlow said.

Brumlow also said the city is looking to alert city residents it is planning to create the overlay district, and said the temporary moratorium will allow citizens to have more of a voice in the overlay district’s design.

The temporary moratorium covers all properties within 700 feet of the center line of Alabama 119 between U.S. 31 and Mission Hills Road. As a point of reference, the 700-foot coverage zone stretches to the back of Publix shopping center, Brumlow said.

“Highway 119 is our main corridor leading into the residential area of town. We want to protect that corridor,” said Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon. “All we are trying to do with the moratorium is to give us some time until we get the overlay district finalized.”